So much happened this past week or so, and all of it deserves its own post.
However, I lacked two things. Pictures of it all, and time to post it all.
We have been so incredibly busy, and I just couldn't seem to remember to grab the camera. A play by play with have to do.
A visit from Ben's brother Wes and his family.
Wes, his wife Karine, and their four kids stayed with us for a few days. When Wes is there, it is bound to be a good time. We went to the splash park, showed them around a little and talked a lot. The kids had a great time together. I love watching my kids have so much fun with their cousins.
A visit in Salt Lake with Ben's Colorado co-worker Heidi Baker.
We met up with her at the Gateway for a dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen. We walked around the Gateway and talked for a while as well. It was really fun. All of the walking killed my foot, and I realized the the healing process may take a while.
A visit in Riverton with Ben's cousins.
This past year, Ben has been finding tons of relatives that live here. They are all very nice and very inviting. We met up with a bunch of his cousins at someones house and had dinner with everyone. I admit, I am not very good with awkward stuff like this (when I don't know a soul), but it means so much to Ben to be with his family, and they are really cool. The kids had a great time as well. Good people.
A visit with Ben's mission companion and his family
One of Ben's mission companions was in town so we decided to meet up at a Deli and talk for a while. I know his wife, because we worked together in Rexburg for a while. It was good to see them and their cute little boys. It is always fun to hear the guys talk about the mission and to hear the stories. Unfortunately, the visit ended with William falling off the curb and hitting his head hard! The poor little guy cried and cried. It was so sad.
A visit in the park with my awesome friend Shaina from Colorado.
This was the first time I have seen any of my friends from Colorado since the move. Yes, some of you are still in trouble for coming out for Women's Conference and not saying hello. It meant more to me than she will ever realize. They were on a family vacation and they took the time to drive out here to see me and the kids. Thank you so much Shaina. You look hot! ;)
Jolene, Ben's mom stayed with us for the week.
It's always great to have a visit from grandma. The kids adore her and I love having someone to hang with during the day. She is such a loving and giving grandma and friend. We all benefit when she comes.
Ben's brother Dan and his family stayed with us for a few days.
While JoJo was here, Dan's family stayed with us for a few days as well. They are a lot of fun to be around, and their little boy Adam is adorable. While they were here, we went swimming at the new rec center here. I was so happy to see Mary and Sam go crazy in the water. Sam probably went down the slide 25 times. Mary loved showing us everything she is learning in swimming lessons. It was awesome. Ben did some amazing flips off the diving board, and even William had fun jumping into our arms time and time again. Good times! We will see them again this week as they make their way back from their trip to Vegas.
Mary loves them! Finally! She is actually learning the strokes and how to stay above the water on her own. It is great. Sam would not even get in the water, so we just pulled him out of lessons this year. We will try again next summer. He proved to me when we went as a family, that he does love water and swimming, he just doesn't like having a teacher and being in the class atmosphere. He says that he is "too shy." Oh well.
A camping trip
I really wish I had pictures for this one. We left to go camping the afternoon after Jolene and Dan and his family left our house. We went camping with our good friends the Dressens and the Baughmans. They are awesome friends and we laughed and told stories into the wee hours of the morning. All of our kids (9 total) had a blast and were dirty and filled with sugar from head to toe. They loved trying to catch squirrels and roasting Starbursts. We went on a really fun little walk/hike around a lake before we left. The scenery was gorgeous and it was so nice to be out in the mountains. I had to take my boot off the previous day, because it was too hard to navigate the campsite with it on. I payed for it during the hike, and my foot killed, even with the boot on, but it was great to be out walking. We are hoping to repeat the camping trip sometime in the near future. There are some stories that need to be finished, or shall we say, elaborated on.... ;)
Oh, how to describe family pictures. Lets see.
S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L, but so worth it!
There was a saga with the photographer, and we had to switch photographers during the week. Easier said than done.
We were so worried about the kids being too tired after camping and being grouchy for the pictures.
We had to find the location, which thanks to the photographer, ended up OK.
We came home from camping around 3:00pm and had family pictures at 8:00pm.
It was a mad rush to unpack, throw in the laundry, bathe the kids, shower, eat dinner, try to let the kids rest, get everyone ready, keep them clean, and of course, we still had to get Ben's shirt to wear!!!!
It took me three days and four stores to decide what we should wear and to find all of it. This was while we had company and I was trying to get ready for camping. I didn't get Ben a shirt, because I thought Ben had a shirt already that matched, I was wrong.
I rushed to get Ben a shirt the day our company left and the day we went camping. The shirt was the wrong size and color. So, the hour before family pictures we were at Kohls again! I returned the shirt and grabbed a new one. Again, I didn't have my boot on, (honestly, who wants family pictures wearing a boot) so I had to go slow.
I grabbed another shirt went to customer service, in the very back corner of the store, and made the exchange. I got back in to the car just in time for us to go to the picture location. The shirt was the wrong size and color again! AAAGGGHHH!!
I hobbled back into Kohls, hunted a little longer this time, found a shirt, and hobbled back to customer service. Seven people were in front of me in line, and there was one guy at the register. Of course, he was training, so he was SLOW! I literally was twitching all over imagining the kids wrestling in the car, messing up their hair and clothes, William screaming, and us being late and getting there frazzled and upset. Not to mention, we were getting evening pictures for good lighting, and I was worried about it getting dark before we were done. It was one of the longest lines of my life.
I finally got the shirt, hobbled out the door, got in the car, and found that the kids still looked fine, William was sleeping, and the shirt worked. Few!
We got to the picture spot and found the photographer. Sam HATES pictures (the poor kid is just too shy), so we were very concerned. I was sweating bullets. I literally prayed the whole way there. Well, we got a miracle. He found a patch of grasshoppers, and Sam was so excited to show them to the photographer that he willingly smiled for most of the pictures! We used the grasshoppers for leverage the whole time. Worked like a charm. William was calm and happy, and I think we actually did it. We conquered family pictures!!!! I can't wait to get them and go through them. I am SO glad it is over and that it worked out. Wow.
Williams first hair cut.
This is the one that I REALLY wish I had remembered the camera for. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I was thinking that we had to be dressed and ready for pictures in 1/2 hour and that William had a mullet. We haven't cut Williams hair because he has these ADORABLE baby curls. We love them so much. It has become way too long though, and he was sporting a mullet. I decided to finally cut the curls before pictures. It was a little sad, and I saved the curls in a bag, but he looks so handsome! What a guy. Who knows, maybe the curls will come back...maybe.
A sprained right ankle
Jolene and I took the kids to the mall one day while she was here this week. I decided to look in Sears to see if they had any fun clothes for pictures. I was clunking my way along with Buster the Boot when my flip flop on my other foot buckled. I rolled my ankle and landed right on my caboose. It killed! I was so embarrassed, but I couldn't get up because my flip flop was stuck sideways on my foot and my boot was stuck under me. A little old lady came shuffling over and said, and I quote, "oh dear, did you just break your other foot?" I wanted to melt into the floor and disappear. She got an employee who came over and said, "oh, is this how you broke your other foot?" I felt really cool at the moment. They both proceeded to give me a lecture on wearing too tall of a flip flop as they helped me up. I tried to explain that I had to get a tall flip flop to even out my height with the tall boot. I don't think they got it. I ended up spraining my right ankle, but at least I can walk on it, and it could have been way worse! It hurt for a few days and now it isn't too bad. Go me! Can you imagine me with a boot on both legs. Now that would be something.
The dreaded choir performance
Today our ward choir performed. I am the ward choir pianist. I love this calling and the choir is a blast to be a part of. We laugh and laugh and laugh, and sing a little too. It is a great group of people. However, the song they sang this time was REALLY HARD for me to play. It was way out of my comfort zone with the piano and I had to work for weeks to even begin to be able to play it. I have been incredibly nervous for this day for a long time. Obviously, this week was a little hard when it came time to find a minute to practice. Actually, there was literally no time to practice. That didn't help with the nerves.
I said a lot of prayers, practiced as much as I could yesterday after camping and before pictures, and left the rest to fate. It worked out great and I made it through without any major problems. Such a relief! I am very grateful for answered prayers.
William is officially walking
Somewhere in all of this chaos, William began walking really well. He has been slowing taking some steps here and there for about a month, but now he is officially a cruiser. He loves it and it is adorable! He walks with his hand out and ready to catch himself and he is getting fast quickly.
Mary got new glasses this week and they are ADORABLE! School starts in a week, so we decided to get her eyes checked to make sure all was well. She picked out some new frames and loves them. She looks so cute.
Aside from all of this, I also got two new piano students, and of course, they started this week. This was another answer to prayers. I decided to expand my teaching pool just a little. I prayed about it and posted an ad. Nothing happened. I prayed again and felt that I should email my friends and ask them to get the word out. One hour after I sent the email, two of my friends got phone calls from people wanting to know if they knew of a piano teacher in the area. Two hours after the email went out, I had the students I needed. How amazing is that!
And that folks, is how it went at the Maynard house this week.
Hopefully now I am all caught up. Let's hope it can stay that way.